PANDHER, village 25 km south of Barnālā (30º-22'N, 75º-32'E) in Saṅgrūr district of the Punjab, has a historical shrine commemorating the visit of Gurū Tegh Bahādur. It is said that as Gurū Tegh Bahādur arrived here late in the afternoon and asked for a site for his camp, one of the villagers pointed in jest to the potter's house saying, "That is the place where travellers stay.” The Gurū's followers remarked, "These are thick-headed people." The Gurū immediately turned his horse and proceeded towards 'Alī Sher village. Khumārī, the headman of Pandher, said, "This is a very proud man." Later, when they learnt who he was, they repented their impudence. The village elders followed the Gurū to 'Alī Sher to ask for forgiveness. They collected a few lumps of guṛ, or jaggery, and some money which they carried as an offering. On the way they met a person who was returning after a visit to the Gurū. They asked him what offering would the Gurū expect to grant them a reprieve for their misdemeanour. "None, " replied the stranger. "The Gurū is compassionate and overlooks the faults of others." The elders of Pandher thereupon distributed the offering among themselves and went to the Gurū empty-handed. The Gurū received them unmindful of their past conduct and instructed them in the path of virtuous living.
The remorseful residents of Pandher constructed a memorial on the spot where the Gurū had briefly halted. It was developed into a gurdwārā, called Gurdwārā Srī Gurū Tegh Bahādur Sāhib during the Sikh rule when Pandher became a part of Nābhā state. The rulers of Nābhā made an endowment in land for its maintenance. A line of mahants served it until after 1956 when it was taken over by the Shiromaṇī Gurdwārā Parbandhak Committee. The Gurdwārā comprises a rectangular hall, with the Gurū Granth Sāhib seated on a canopied platform at one end of it. Besides daily worship, special dīvāns take place on full-moon days and on major religious anniversaries on the Sikh calendar. The Gurdwārā owns 50 acres of land.
Major Gurmukh Siṅgh (Retd.)